Monday, November 29, 2010

Iffen ah don' laff...

Well iffen ah don' laff I sure as hail gonna cry, so let's look at some cheerful bits. This u-tube look at the illusions of getting published has all the elements of reality :-)


On the othe positive news my collection THE GOTH SEX KITTEN AND OTHER STORIES is out from NAKED READER which, if means if you decided to buy it for your e-reader -- and you buy directly from NR - I get 60% (less credit card fees... the bank-dog always gets its cut) as opposed to the 15-20% I'd be lucky to see elsewhere. Even off Amazon I am still pleased to say that 50% - nearly a dollar fifty - or 2.3 times what I'd earn from a paperback - will return to me to help to provide for those extra little luxuries like a roof over our heads - something I would love to see less authors worried silly about. And to reinforce my attitude about ebooks needing to be CHEAPER than paper books... it is.

I've nearly finished one of the books I am working on, and I'm sorely missing what I realise is one of my trademark type characters - the amoral individual who acts as a kind of mirror to the 'mores' of modern life. The Rats in RATS, BATS AND VATS are cyber-uplifted, but still remain rats. As that they give me a useful way of poking fun at some of our more sacred holy cows.


He began to adjust his pince-nez again; but, instead, simply took them off and wiped his snout wearily. “It was too late. Without surgery it was always too late. Even with it, too late by hours.”
The group standing around Phylla’s still body were all silent.
Then Nym sighed. “Out, out, brief candle. Well, I suppose I’d better go and fetch some brandy. Or would anyone prefer some wine?”
“You’re going to get drunk?” Siobhan’s voice rose to a squawk of outrage.
Doc nodded. “Of course. The observance of rites for the dead are what set us apart from the animals.”
“But that is to behave like animals, indade!” Eamon sounded genuinely appalled.
“Methinks if we behaved like the animals we came from, we’d eat her,” replied Fal reasonably. “Besides, I thought you’d be in favor of a wake. It is a fine Irish tradition.”
“It is?” This obviously made a strong impression on a bat who felt himself to be, among other things, heir to the mantle of De Valera.
Fal nodded vigorously. “You don’t have to attend, but not to do so is a mark of scanty respect for the dead.”
Even Bronstein was caught half-cocked. “But is not our custom . . .”
“It is ours,” said Pistol with finality. “And our Phylla was first and foremost a rat.”
Virginia sidled up to Chip. “What are they doing to that dead rat?” she whispered, staring in fascinated horror.
“Laying her out. Maybe not the way we humans would understand it, but the way a rat would.” Chip’s tone was very dry. “Phylla would have appreciated it. Sort of a rat joke.”


or in PYRAMID SCHEME/POWER where the Dragons are this foil


In a remote corner of a wildlife reservation, some distance away, a winged dragon sighed gustily and licked his new white little teeth with a long red snaky tongue. They helped his speech as well as his chewing. "I feel as if my life is lacking something."
His sibling, Bitar, licked his chops too. "Something of the flavor of life."
"Could be ketchup?" said Smitar, after serious thought, and then concentrated on trying to reach an annoying itch between his shoulder blades.
"Or it could be hot sauce. Who would have thought that American maidens would be in such short supply that they'd have to be protected game?"
"Over hunted," said Smitar, righteously. "Should have introduced a permit system. Or reservations. Or a minimum size limit."
Bitar shook his vast armored head at the iniquity. "A bag limit." He paused. "It wasn't you, was it?"
"Not unless I'm sleep-eating again," said Smitar. "If it wasn't me, was it you? And can you scratch this spot for me?"
"We need Cruz," said Bitar, obliging. "He can give a decent scratch with an oar. Do you think we're molting again?"
"Could be. It's this foreign food. Very greasy. Fattening." Smitar patted his midriff.
"You haven't been eating these foreigners again?" demanded Bitar accusingly. "You know Medea told us not to. Anyway, you could have shared!"
"Phttt," said Smitar. "He was barely a snack. And Cruz said that anyone from the INS was fair game. I still feel something's missing in my life. I've got this sort of inner itch too."
"Could be indigestion. But I have it as well. And I never even got a bite of the INS official," Bitar sniffed dolefully. "Could use a good scratch with a pole from Cruz."
Smitar wrinkled his scaly forehead in thought. "I think it is that time of life when a young dragon's thoughts turn to love."
"Could be. What time is that?" asked Bitar, tasting the idea.
"This century, I think."
"Hmm. In that case I think we need some male advice on how to draw chicks."
Smitar looked a bit puzzled. "I thought you just grabbed them and dragged?"
"Doesn't that lack finesse?"
"Probably. It could work though."
"We need to ask Cruz," said Bitar, rubbing his back against a rock and shattering it. "It's time he sat us down and gave us a little talk about the birds and the bees."
Smitar tasted a piece of the rock. Chewed it thoughtfully and then asked: "Why?"
"I think it's what you have to talk to girls about," said Bitar knowledgeably. "Cruz will know."
Smitar spat out rock fragments. "And he could give us a good scratch."
As they took off and began searching for thermals, Smitar asked, "So what's this finesse stuff? Some kind of sauce? Or a lubricant to help with the dragging?"
Bitar nodded. "Both. It's got chocolate in it, too."



Of course, in SLOW TRAIN TO ARCTURUS I used Miran (an alien species that changes sex from male to female on reaching a certain age/size) to look at our taboos on sex.

Anyway, I'll spare you a quote of that.
But this something rather typical of my writing. Any other examples of weird writing traits you can think of in authors you enjoy?
Anything good come up lately? (besides dinner?)

16 comments:

Rita de Heer said...

I like the little reference to The Rats of Nimh, a favourite read-aloud book in my house.

Thank you for your notes on the the practical outcomes of epublishing, which act as a bit of encouragement after yesterday's post.

Jvstin Tomorrow said...

How about the Brooklyn gangsteresque trolls in The Incompleat Enchanter?

MataPam said...

I love "off" Good Guys. In Bad Guys it's practically expected. But when you can torque your readers brains around in another direction and make them think "What is it that's wrong with this sort of behavior, anyway?" you've won.

And they are great fun to write, as well.

Francis Turner said...

Larry Correia's Monster Hunter Vendetta has (Garden) Gnome rappers which is pretty good. Mind you I think they are kind of related to Sir Pterry's Pictsies which are just one of the many ways Sir Pterry pokes sacred cows

Dave Freer said...

Heh, Rita, that struck me (and amused me, as I like cross references and double and treble entendres) when I was picking names for the rats (they're all the names of either Shakespearean rude artisinals or merry wives, or from G&S (this beingthe source of their language))

From my point of veiw - e publishing IS easy. All I do is get NR to accept the work. They do the leg-work

Dave Freer said...

Jvstin - Sprague de Camp's book were what inspired Eric and I to find a way to play in myth - ur worlds :-)

Dave Freer said...

Matapam please explain 'off'?

Dave Freer said...

Francis - finding a place that hasn't got P'terry's footprints is a tricky excercise. Mind you, we do approach things from slightly different angles - his dwarf etc characters are moral - from their societal veiwpoint. Mine are often amoral (ie neither good nor bad) as they don't have a societal history to root this in. So for example - there is Carrot trying to behave like a good dwarf - and thereby contrasting human values but the dragons have no such background referents. They simply behave like 'innocents' with the magically added aspect of speech.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Very much enjoyed your examples, Dave.

MataPam said...

Off center, off their rockers, past their sell dates or otherwise possessed of qualities not generally considered "good" by the average citizen.

You know, drunken, foul mouthed, thieving, womanizing . . . rats?

Not so much a dark hero as an unexpected one.

Lois Bujold's Aral Vorkosigan and Sergeant Bothari have bad backgrounds, but they overcome them.

I think of the "off" characters as never realizing they have anything to overcome. Or enjoying the reactions of the proper, or . . . anything but changing their ways.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Funny. I just realized the books I best enjoy writing have deeply moral characters whose morality is just askew to everyone else's. Athena, Dyce and, in the Musketeer's mysteries... all of the musketeers. Kind of like your "trickster" characters. Oh, yeah, the monkeys in Soul of Fire, too...
I think that's the problem I'm having with current space opera. While one of the characters is one of those, he hasn't revealed it yet.

Dave Freer said...

Thanks Rowena, I liked writing them :-)

Dave Freer said...

Yes, Sarah, a set of morals makes a character easier to bind to, even if they are not YOUR morals. My tricksters tend to be those.

Dave Freer said...

Ah, gotcha, matapam

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
a quick question and then som unsolicited advice.

The question: if I get one of your books via webscriptions as an ARC for $15 do you get paid more? If not I'll refrain in future although it'll make my impatient self sad.

The advice: kick the gonads of the Naked Reader webmaster hard. I went there to try and find everything that you had on offer and found that that was well ... not easy, there is no intuitivley available way to browse the catalogue, a search for Freer returned 0 results because your name wasn't included in the blurb and there is no author field in the product description or the 'advanced search' option. When browsing the catalogue the cover image was so small that it was impossible to see the author name and then when I clicked the tumbnail I was taken to the 'more about' page which still didn't have an author name and had to click the 'View Full-Size Image' for the cover to find out if you were the author.

THIS WILL MAKE YOUR SALES SUCK unless you are are relying on random browsers instead of fans.

DaveC

Dave Freer said...

DaveC - I get 20% of the price of any e-sales, so the ARC is Good to me:-)

The Advice: thank you VERY much. Passed on!

cheers

Dave